Volume 7, Number 25 June  27, 2018

Dear Healthcare at Home Colleague,

This week's Lincoln Health conference that brought together providers and vendors from Home Health, Home Care, Hospice, Long Term Care, Senior Living and payers was a whirlwind of information both new and challenging. We will bring you what we learned as quickly as possible but some of it will take time to digest and unfold.

For example, experts brought together to analyze the proposed payment system popularly known as HHGM said we should watch to see if CMS releases an announcement late this Friday, June 29. "If they do not," agreed executives from LHC Group and Encompass, "it will be next year at this time." They do not anticipate an additional, mid-year announcement. So hope for it Friday. Otherwise, they bemoaned, there is the possibility that 2019 might see a proposed rule in July followed by a final rule in November, with a January 1, 2020 deadline. "How can software vendors possibly make major changes in less than two months?" their rhetorical question rang through the meeting room.

At the top of this week's news, we tackle first the long-awaited announcement of findings from a three-year study into the effectiveness of home care. Initiated by private duty software vendor ClearCare and carried out by their customer Right at Home, the results are still being compiled by researchers at Harvard medical School. However, preliminary, unofficial results are extremely encouraging. Our industry has been wanting proof that it saves money for payers and increases satisfaction and outcomes for patients. This might be it. Do not miss "Harvard Study of Home Care Effectiveness Releases Preliminary Results," in this week's issue.

Did He Actually Say That?

Perhaps the highlight of the week came during a panel discussion between providers and a payer, in this case an ACO. "I have been saying for eight years that if you provide high quality care and show that you lower payer costs, payers will partner with you and reward your efforts," declared Optum's Erik Johnson. "I do not say that anymore. I have come to realize there is limited money available to ACOs and they have to be creative with the way they pay partners. They haven't designed those creative payment plans yet."

Jeff Spight, former President of WellCare's MSO/ACO, declared payers do not want to deal with 15 post-acute partners. "We want three," he asserted. "We want the best three. They will be the ones that grab our attention by going beyond the minimum, providing additional services to our customers such as transportation and telehealth, and keep our hospital readmission costs low."

The message was clear. Achieve superior patient outcomes, bend over backward to impress an ACO with free services, slash their overall cost of care, and you will become a preferred provider. For this, they will give you a hearty handshake and express their sincere gratitude.

In other news: We have briefings on Seema Verma's announced CMS crackdown on state Medicaid program spending practices, the acquisition of Palliative Care Provider Aspire Health by Anthem, Inc., and a report by Parks Associates that the number of PERS users will reach 6 million by 2021.

Independence Day falls on a Wednesday this year and we are going to observe it by re-reading the Constitution and writing our elected representatives. Our next issue will be dated July 11. Have a great week, and a profoundly patriotic July 4th. Keep making a difference!

Editor signature
Tim Rowan

Harvard Study of Home Care Effectiveness Releases Early Results
Public and private payers take note. Objective research finally produces evidence top quality home care can, in fact, reduce overall healthcare costs while improving patient outcomes.

CMS to Increase Scrutiny of Medicaid
Administrator Seema Verma initiates stronger audit functions, enhanced oversight of state contracts with private insurance companies, increased beneficiary eligibility oversight, and stricter enforcement of state compliance with federal rules.

Anthem Acquires Palliative Care Provider
Anthem is focused on enhancing our ability to offer innovative, integrated clinical care models that can improve the quality of healthcare and deliver better outcomes.

Report: 6 Million Will Use PERS
Parks Associates reports the use of Personal Emergency Response Systems will continue to grow through the Boomer era.

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During the 2nd Quarter of 2018, web sites of the above advertisers were visited by home care and hospice executives and staff 2335 times.

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Last Week's Most-Read Stories:
If You Are Going to Teach, Understand Your Audience!
Training is one of the most critical functions of healthcare management. But how well do company trainers understand the principles of adult learning? Staff writer Darcey Trescone brings her years of clinical and learning experience to this guide for teachers of adults.
Does Software Help or Harm Post-Acute Healthcare Agencies?
"Technology must be a help, not a hindrance. Software must create efficiencies, not confusion." In a powerful opinion piece, guest author Kristen Duell calls for a more thoughtful approach to home care technology.

As of this date, approximately 30,085,000 Baby Boomers have become Medicare eligible.

Notable Upcoming Conferences Free Webinars

Post Acute 360: Strategy and Solutions Conference

Presented by: Lincoln Healthcare Leadership

June 25-27
Gaylord National Resort
National Harbor, MD
Information and Registration

NAHC Financial Managers Meeting

July 15-17
Austin, TX
Information and Registration

HomeCareCon: Unleash Your Inner Super Hero

Home Care Association of Florida Annual Conference 2018

July 29-Aug. 1
Renaissance Orlando at Sea World

Information and Registration

Leading in a Changing World

Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice 49th Annual Meeting
August 8-9
Moody Gardens Hotel & Spa
Embassy Suites Frisco Hotel & Convention Center

Information and registration

Home Care Cruise

Sponsored by: HealthCare Synergy
Featuring: Melinda Gaboury, Michael Tidd, Paula Pettit
Dates: August 24-27
Location: Carnival Inspiration, Los Angeles to Ensenada, Mexico

Information and Registration

(Early Bird Pricing Ends May 15)

Hospice Financial and Administrative Management Academy

Presented by: The Health Group, LLC

Date: September 17-18
Location: Mirage Las Vegas

Information and registration

2018 National Leadership Conference *

Home Care Association of America

September 22-25
Location: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
Washington DC


Information for Providers and Exhibitors

*HCTR will see you there.

Your state or national association meeting not listed? Send the details to Conferences@RowanResources.com using this format:

Conference Title
Sponsoring Association
Hotel or Conference Center, City, State

Chronic Disease Education: Becoming the Partner of Choice

Presented by Curaport
Ginny Kenyon, RN, MN

Date: Tuesday, July 17
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT

Fee: $79 (per attendee)
Information & Registration

*This education session is approved for one (1) contact hour of Continuing Education for Nursing

Understanding Social Determinants to Improve Health Care

Presented by Curaport

Featuring: Christina A. Nuqui, M.S.W., of Home Healthcare Solutions, LLC

Date: Thursday, July 12
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT
Fee: $79 (per attendee)

Information and registration

This education session is pending approval for one (1) contact hour of Continuing Education for Social Work from the National Association of Social Workers.

Addressing the Social Determinants of health will be the most important factor of health care reform. This webinar will discuss what Social Determinants are, and how they can help you better understand your patient. In addition, we will discuss how Social Determinants affect access to health services, Re-Hospitalizations, & Individual Behaviors.

Managed Care Insights and Strategies for Post-Acute Partners

Presented by: Netsmart/DeVero
Wednesday, July 11
2:00 p.m. Eastern

According to a recent MedPAC report, enrollment in managed care programs grew 8% from 2016 to 2017, accounting for nearly 32% of all Medicare beneficiaries, with enrollment projected to grow even higher in 2018. With the rapid growth in managed care plans, the organizations managing these contracts are looking to narrow their network of post-acute providers, creating smaller networks of high-value preferred partners.

To help post-acute providers develop effective managed care strategies, we invited Stacey Youcis, senior vice president of service lines and population health at Lancaster General Health to discuss what they look for in an ideal post-acute partner. AJ Peterson, vice president of interoperability at Netsmart, will join the conversation to discuss technology strategies post-acute providers should consider when positioning to their managed care partners.

Key Takeaways:

  • Insights from a managed care organization
    • Current state of managed care programs
    • Ideal characteristics of a post-acute partner
    • Future of managed care programs
  • Strategies to participate in managed care
    • Understanding risk
    • Technology solutions to facilitate participation
    • Integrating into the broader ecosystem of care

Webinar hosts, send your announcements to: Conferences@RowanResources.com

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